A 2007 EP hinted at the sort of honest, quirky fare Lanae’ Hale had to offer. Her 2009 full-length Centricity album, Back & Forth, makes good on that promise as an engaging collection of highly crafted melodic and lyric expressions. Eschewing standard pop cliches, Lanae’ carves out her own unique and personable creative space on the new project, allowing her songs to unfold unexpectedly and with a strong dose of self-revelation born of her own sense of struggle.
Tag-team produced by Mark Hammond (Nichole Nordeman, Ashley Tisdale) and Allen Salmon (Seabird, This Beautiful Republic) Back & Forth is constructed with an underlying sense of “before and after.” Some songs reflect the psalm-like intensity of a journey through the darker moments of life, while others celebrate the freedom, hope, and redemption that ultimately follows.
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Lanae' Hale [Back & Forth]| Posted May 19, 2009 [MAIN REVIEW]
Out of Gainesville Florida, Lanae’ Hale who developed her style by playing worship in church and trying out her songs in coffeehouses, is the latest addition at Centricity records. Like a lot of young women Lanae’ felt the enormous pressure of living up to our material world’s 21st century expectations and sometimes that pressure sweeps you into a dark corner. “I was into cutting and if not for the grace of God I may not have made it through. It’s hard to explain but sometimes you don’t like yourself and do bad things to yourself, such as cutting. If I can reach out to God and change then others can as well. More than anything else, I would like to help young girls through my own music and my own testimony.”
Knowing Lanae’s background and having 3 young daughters myself, I found this album and the message of redemption and God’s love bringing light and hope out of darkness to be compelling. The title song “Back & Forth” is all about that theme of redemption. Here’s the chorus: “If I could, than I would run across the sea, So You'd speak to me, Back and forth, the waves keep crashing, Hold on, my head, I keep on sinking, I need Your hand to steady me to bring Your peace to this storm”. The song is so catchy and personal, I can’t get enough of listening to Lanae’s testimony and amazing singing voice. “Beautiful Things” sticks with the theme of redemption and the cry to “sing in the rain, love without pain, and live everyday”. “Here’s My Heart” is another one of my favorite songs and has the cry of my heart to “know me well and change me deeply”. The spiritual messages are subtle yet strong and the album listens like an autobiography of Lanae’s life. She has a couple of songs about her marriage, including “Let’s Grow Old Together” and “Headed Home” which are also stand-out songs on the album. As I’ve been married for fifteen years, the beauty of the husband and wife relationship is well-captured in these great songs.
This is a great album. I am very impressed by Lanae’s ability to blend messages of love, redemption and hope throughout her story with catchy melodies and a fantastic singing style. If you like Jewel, Sheryl Crow and Plumb, you’ll love Lanae’ Hale’s album “Back & Forth”.
REMARKABLE FULL-LENGTH DEBUT FROM RISING SONGSTRESS| Posted August 18, 2009
Rarely does an untried name in music record not only one of the better discs in her new artist class but one of the year’s best CDs—period. Twenty-four-year-old Lanae’ Hale is that artist. And Back & Forth, her first full-length project, is that record.
Following a well-received (and reviewed) EP in 2007, Hale debuts 11 brand-new tracks, tacking on a significant amount of edgy grit that gives her buoyant vocal chops added depth and significantly matures her listener reach.
Raising the bar on Hale’s already anomalous brand of songwriter-focused pop/rock, Christian popster Mark Hammond (Nichole Nordeman, Ashley Tisdale) and Allen Salmon (This Beautiful Republic, Seabird) masterfully helm production, showcasing Hale’s vulnerable verses against an accessible radio-ready backdrop. With a voice powerful enough to soar against the pounding guitars on the really, really hip title track, yet vulnerable enough to gracethe closing lullaby “Don’t Cry” and heart-pounding ballad “If I’m Broken,” Hale is one of the freshest original vocalists in Christian music.
It’s not that she’s without influences. Hints of the Cranberries and Sixpence’s Leigh Nash are easily evidenced, but they only serve to benefit the standout singer instead of distracting with comparisons. You think, “I’ve heard that before!” until you realize not exactly—maybe a piece of this verse and part of that lick, but nothing overwhelmingly reciprocal. It makes Back & Forth sound both fresh and familiar, an incredibly marketable posture for an up-and-coming artist like Hale.
Without much prelude, Hale is quickly becoming a “ccm” original. —Andrew Greer
The Skinney| Posted June 03, 2009
Over the course of every year there are many debut artists who come up out of the wood work and establish themselves as solid singers. Some of that success for new artists lies in good promotion but most of it lies in plain talent; both of which seem to be true of Lanae' Hale and her management. The Florida native offers opens the act of her career with her present pop debut Back and Forth. The track which sets the tone for the album is the title track; the guitar fueled pop song is filled with the charm of her vocals which adds a mature laid back sound which will attract a wide range of pop fans.
Although the music takes a very nice sound on the upbeat pop song “Beautiful Things”, but the album’s best edge maintains soft guitar led ballads especially “Lets Grow Old Together” and the emotional finale “Don’t Cry.” Even though there are some simplistic tracks mixed in the thirteen track album, most of the tunes remain very attractive. The lyrics don’t delve into terribly deep topics but throughout talking about relationships songs where the pronouns don’t necessarily point to God, Lanae’ Hale’s does make God’s presence known ("Burning Heartbeats" and "Estranged"). Overall Back and Forth is a good pop album which is sure to recruit fans of all ages.
Lanaẻ Hale’s latest, Back & Forth comes courtesy of the small, Nashville-based wünder-label Centricity Music. The album features 8 tracks of lively and catchy pop / pop-rock, complemented by several gentle, melodious ballads. Tag-team producers Mark Hammond (Nicole Nordeman, Ashley Tisdale) and Allen Salmon (Seabird, This Beautiful Republic) place their signature stamp on Back & Forth’s production, but it is Hale’s versatility and talent as a singer/songwriter, that give substance and character to this “deep pop.”
Ms. Hale’s breathy vocals have a give and take quality; sinuously moving between a silken quality and a country-influenced nuance. Her vocals simultaneously embody quiet vulnerability, innocent lightheartedness and an assured sonorousness. She easily transitions between secure transparency and an affirmed clemency depending on the mood and tone of the song and lyrics.
If you’re looking for mature, affable music, then you should definitely give this album a listen. Lanaẻ Hale’s Back & Forth shares common ground with Faith Hill and Nicole Nordeman, as well as Sixpence None The Richer, The Cranberries and Melissa Greene.
Where Buffaloes Never Roam...| Posted April 14, 2009
We were first introduced to Hawaii native Lanae' Hale in fall of 2007, when she released a 6-song EP. The EP was nice, but it really wasn't my style of music. The EP stuck to mid- and slow-tempo tracks, with a folky, acoustic-based, lite pop sound. But things take a turn with her debut album. Teaming up with Mark Hammond (best known for working with Jump5) is obviously what gave the album its well-produced pop vibe. The album gets rid of the sparse arrangements in favor of programmed synths and catchy pop beats.
"Back & Forth" starts with a bang with its title track, which is my personal favorite song on the record. The song is a super-catchy pop song that was destined for radio airplay. Other songs like "Beautiful Things," and "Here's My Heart" follow in the same pattern. "It's Over" and "Don't Cry" are the ballads of the project, which reflect her EP with their acoustic arrangements, but in this case it really complements the songs. "Here's To The Girls" is a girls' anthem that every female Christian artist thinks they HAVE to include on their project. But this one is really good. Lanae's vocals on this song remind me a lot of Jill Parr, and sound almost identical to hers at times. "If I'm Broken" starts off with Skillet-like orchestration, before becoming a pop song. "Headed Home" is a calmer, synthy number, with lots of vocal effects. "Burning Heartbeats" is a song Britt Nicole would kill to have on her album, being near pop perfection.
"Back & Forth" is a breath of fresh air from an artist I decided to give a second chance. I recommend it to any pop music fan! Be sure to watch out for Lanae' in '09!
Baby I love yoooou!| Posted July 08, 2011
The other day when i was driving i was flipping through the stations and turned it to home.fm and heard "Let's grow old together" and LOOOOVED it! So i went searching and found it on here. I love this album.
Nice sound| Posted June 01, 2009
I won this from a Twitter contest from @centricity and was I glad when I got it!!! I love "Back and Forth" from the radio, and "Burning Heartbeats" is an awesome song. "Quiet Place", the earliest written one, is great too. One of the best parts was the almost unheard-of 13 tracks (most albums that aren't best-ofs don't go beyond 12)Can't wait to hear more!!!
A BEAUTIFUL album sung by a beautiful friend| Posted May 31, 2009
In one word, my friend Lanae Hale's new album, "Back and Forth" is BEAUTIFUL. I've had the honor of listening to these songs for well over a month and have fallen in love with her lyrics, voice, and melodies. She writes about her own experiences and tragedies in life which make her songs personable and lovable. There's no doubt that her faith in God shines through each of these songs. Seriously, you want to get these tunes NOW! Check out http://www.lanaehale.com for info! Here's my "BEAUTIFUL" review of her tracks.
Back and Forth: Beautiful Fighter. Amidst the storms & fights in life, we must not give up, but keep holding onto His hand.
Beautiful Things: Beautiful Liver. Be thankful for the beautiful things in life. Live each day enjoying the blessings.
Here's My Heart: Beautiful Spirit. God calls us to die to ourselves daily. Our hearts are His and to have a beautiful spirit is all He desires of us.
Burning Heartbeats: Beautiful Heart. A song of how Christ refines our hearts and puts a spark within us to draw us closer to Him.
Let's Grow Old Together: Beautiful Wife. A sweet song about growing old with the one you love.
It's Over: Beautiful Realizer. Many things in life don't go as we planned. It's those times when we give it to God and realize that it's for the best.
If I'm Broken: Beautiful Follower. A song of complete surrender to Christ. Every part of us is His, whether we are diseased and dying or alive and well.
Here's to the Girls: Beautiful Friend. A foot tapping tune celebrating women and their beautiful selves! :)
Estranged: Beautiful and Not Alone. A reminder to all of us that God never leaves us.
Headed Home: Beautiful Eyes. Out with the old, in with the new. A song about her relationships. For more about her story, check out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lh1nPbnsGlk
Don't Cry: Beautiful Encourager. No matter what's going on in life, no matter how many times you are on the ground, don't cry, it'll be alright.
Break My Fall: Beautifully Broken. A prayer to God to take our broken selves and make them into a person with a beautiful soul.
Quiet Place: Beautiful Waiter. Wait for God to speak in the still and silence of our hearts.
Back & Forth| Posted May 26, 2009
I wasn't quite sure if I wasnted to buy Lanae's album, but when they offered it for free here on NRT, I was like "Who's not gonna grab this?!"
The title track is an easy going pop song that is fun to listen to. "Beautiful Things" reminds me of Point of Grace's more upbeat songs and is fun to sing-a-long to. Lanae's soft vocals flow over the piano in "Here's My Heart". So far, all of the songs have sounded the same... then "Burning Heartbeats" comes along. This is a great, uptempo song that is effervescent and peppy.
"Let's Grow Old Together" is a beautiful love song, while "It's Over" is a soft, acoustic-driven song. "If I'm Broken" starts out with a beautiful orchestration that leads into a middle-of-the-road pop song.
"Here's to the Girls" is a fun anthem that go along with songs such as "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and "G.N.O.". Great for karaoke nights. "Enstranged" is one of the more upbeat songs on the album, "Headed Home" and "Don't Cry" are both on the ballad side of the music spectrum.
The bonus tracks are soft acoustic tracks that are a bit boring and uninteresting.
Overall, other than "Back and Forth", "Burning Heartbeats" and "Here's to the Girls", Back & Forth falls flat compared to such peers like Francesca Battistelli and Natalie Grant. The songs are mundane and generic, while Lanae's voice isn't real special. Also, the album feels like it's going to kick in at some point with some electric guitars and drum patterns, but it never does, and I was disappointed with that. If acoustic is her style, she should stick to acoustic and not include the pop programming.
If you want great, acoustic pop check out Francesca or Natalie, because Lanae' just doesn't quite cut it.
like it!| Posted May 19, 2009
ok, so i've been listening to ms hale's voice for a last 6 or so months. it has grown on me. at first i didn't know if i liked it or not. however, each time i hear her sing i like her voice a little more. i saw the free download here on nrt today and well, downloaded it. i already had the title song from another free download and thought that the simple lyrics and high voice quality was excellent.
if you have not downloaded the album yet you should.